Oh boy. Christopher Hitchens, known for his calm, restrained and unfailingly polite style of argument (those Brits!) comments on the supposed "temper" of old man John McCain in Slate today. The piece is largely an excuse for Hitch to use every synonym for "crazy" that he knows. It's time, he says, that we "wonder whether the Republican nominee has his tray table in the fully locked and upright position, whether he lives happily or unhappily in his own ZIP code, whether there are kittens in his granary or bats in his belfry, and whether his elevator goes all the way to the top." And so on from there.
However, we are still obliged to ask ourselves whether the senior senator from Arizona is a brick short of a load or, as heartless people in England sometimes say, a sandwich or two short of a picnic. Because "anger," make no mistake about it, is the innuendo for instability or inadequacy. What if McCain doesn't really have both oars in the water or is either too tightly wrapped or not tightly wrapped enough?
Again, one hopes that the nominee has been doing this for emphasis rather than as a sign that he is out of his pram, has lost his rag, has gone ballistic, has reported into the post office that he's feeling terminally disgruntled today. (Or, as P.G. Wodehouse immortally put it, if not quite disgruntled, not exactly gruntled, either.)
After all those colorful ways of calling the man crazy ("lost his rag"???), Hitchens declares that we cannot know for sure how crazy John McCain will be until we elect him president. Also he quotes Orwell for no reason. Basically, a stunning return for form for old Hitch.